Woman pretending to be auditor arrested for Waffle House robberies

Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 11:28 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 11:28 AM

An Amelia woman has been charged with committing the late night robbery of a Waffle House earlier this week, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said.

Mindy L. Messina, age 37, 3581 Hunting Creek Lane, Amelia, Ohio, has been charged with robbing a Waffle House early Monday morning by claiming to be an auditor making an inspection for the company, said Sgt. BD Lacy of the Warren County Sheriff’s office.

Messina allegedly entered the Waffle House at 9725 Mason Montgomery Road in Deerfield Twp. at 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 17 and told employees she was an “auditor” for the restaurant and began to inspect the premises, Lacy said

Messina allegedly stayed in the restaurant for approximately 45 minutes when she asked an employee to print out the evenings sales and open the cash register. She was able to access the cash register and take cash. She then left the store.

Tips from Crimestoppers identified sheriff’s deputies to Messina, Lacy said.

Detectives interviewed Messina and she confessed to taking the money from Waffle House, Lacy said. During the investigation it was discovered that Messina had committed a similar offense in Elsmere, Ky. at a convenience store, Lacy said.

Elsmere officers came to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and interviewed Messina. Messina confessed to their offense as well.

Messina was charged with Theft and booked into the Warren County Jail. Charges were filed in the Mason Municipal Court. Charges are pending in the Elsmere, Ky. incident.

Fire ravages historic building near bike trail in downtown Loveland

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 11:23 AM

A massive fire overnight damaged a historic building in Loveland in a popular part of the city for shopping and outdoor activities.

West Loveland Avenue near the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail is closed to pedestrians and motorists as Loveland-Symmes firefighters continue working after responding to the fire call around 1:30 a.m., according to our news partner in Cincinnati, WCPO-Ch. 9.

Flames spread from one end to the other of a mixed retail and residential building that has been renovated several times, according to WCPO’s report.

Everyone escaped the building and there were no reports of injuries, although a firefighter was overcome with exhaustion while fighting the flames, according to WCPO’s report.

Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder told the media outlet the part of the building that sustained the most fire damage did not have a sprinkler system, and the side that did have sprinklers sustained water damage.

The cause is under investigation and the city engineer’s office has been called to determine whether the building is structurally sound.

5th tornado confirmed in neighboring Miami Valley county

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 9:53 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:22 AM

A fifth tornado touched down Wednesday in Warren, in addition to the two that hit in Clark County, one in Fayette County and one in Miami County.

Tornadoes were confirmed in the following locations:

  • EF-1 confirmed in Park Layne
  • EF-0 confirmed near Medway
  • EF-1 confirmed near Piqua
  • EF-0 confirmed in Fayette County

UPDATE @ 2:52 p.m.:

A fifth tornado is reported to have touched down in the region during Wednesday night’s storm, according to the National Weather Service. 

An EF0 tornado briefly touched down in Warren County, in a field four miles north of Harveysburg, according to the NWS.

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. (May 26)

In addition to three tornadoes that hit the Miami Valley on Wednesday, a fourth tornado touched down in neighboring Fayette County, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.

The EF-0 tornado touched down in the extreme western portion of Fayette County, based on radar data, video evidence and eyewitness reports, according to the weather service.

The tornado had wind gusts of 50 mph, was 25 yards wide and traveled approximately three miles, according to the weather service. it dissipated about four miles southeast of Jamestown.

The tornado traveled primarily through empty farm fields and did not left little damage, according to the weather service.


The National Weather Service has confirmed a third tornado touched down near Medway in Clark County.

Maximum sustained winds for the tornado were 75 mph and it was said to be on the ground for 500 yards, the weather service said.

The tornado touched down on Lower Valley Pike near Princeton Drive, just southwest of the I-70 and Ohio 235 interchange.

Several manufactured homes sustained roof and siding damage and two large trees fell on and destroyed homes on Cordova Drive at McMahan’s Fairview Terrace Mobile Home Park.

RELATED: Multiple mobile homes damaged by downed trees in Clark County

Several homes on Wellington Avenue had mud splattered on the north or east side of the homes, showing evidence of rotation, the weather service said.

According to the weather service, carports and awnings also were destroyed.

The damage quickly lessened in strength further to the northwest with minimal damage along Jason Drive and no evidence of damage by Amy Dee Lane, NWS said.

UPDATE @ 3:46 p.m.:

A second tornado was confirmed by the National Weather Service approximately five miles southeast of Piqua.

The weather service said the maximum winds for the tornado near Piqua were estimated at 90 mph.

UPDATE @ 3:36 p.m.:

A tornado that caused damage in Park Layne and southeast Miami County had maximum sustained winds of 100 mph and was on the ground for nearly four miles, the National Weather Service said.

Officials said the tornado first touched down in the western side of Park Layne as an EF-1 tornado, where damage occurred to some commercial buildings and trees.

RELATED: Businesses damaged in Park Layne

The maximum width of the tornado was 300 yards.

Additional tree damage and minor roof damage occurred along Bellefontaine Road to the northwest, the weather service said.

Sporadic damage, primarily to trees, was found farther to the northwest, ultimately ending along Ohio 201 north of Studebaker Road.

The damage near Studebaker Road was consistent with wind speeds of an EF-0 tornado, the weather service said.

Officials are expected to release additional details later this afternoon.

An EF-1 tornado is classified with wind speeds between 86 to 110 mph and an EF-0 tornado has wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.

UPDATE @ 2:56 p.m. 

Bethel Twp. fire department official gave an update on the damage at Sunoco gas station. The hazard has been secured and no fuel was lost. The fuel tank valves have been secured.

Also, there are six families being assisted in this area of Park Layne.

There has been extensive damage to roofs on homes along Osborne Road, according to Bethel Twp. fire. The department was able to use a drone in the daylight to get a clearer picture of the damage. 

Clark County EMA is handling the damage assessment. 

Larry Shaffer, Clark County Combined Health District, said eight of 10 restaurants are back in business after the storms caused closures. 

The Mel-O-Dee restaurant could be closed for up to three weeks due to broken air conditioning units and a structural truss damaged. The Family Dollar that was damaged will also remain closed. 

Tom Hale, Clark County building official, said several businesses remain without power. 

UPDATE @ 10:06 a.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-1 tornado hit Park Layne Wednesday night.

The weather service estimated maximum winds for the tornado at 100 mph.

Additional details, including the path length and width on the Park Layne tornado will be released later today, NWS said.

UPDATE @ 9:49 a.m.:

The National Weather Service storm survey teams have arrived in Park Layne and are beginning their surveys of suspected tornado damage in Clark, Greene and Miami counties.

>>PHOTOS:  Storm damageStorms, funnel clouds

The National Weather Service will be out today to survey damage in Greene, Clark and Miami counties to determine the number, strength and exact locations of tornado touchdowns.

Two survey teams will begin today in Park Layne and then those teams will split up, with one going to Miami County and the other going to Greene County.

>>VIDEO: Funnel cloud over Fairborn

In a statement issued early this morning, weather service officials in Wilmington said some of these damage reports, reported by whio.com and News Center 7, include:  

  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base security forces are checking for damage. “At this time, we do not know if a tornado touched down or not” on the base, spokeswoman Marie Vanover said. WPAFB weather casters issued a tornado warning at 8:33 p.m., which was extended twice more. An “all clear” has since been issued, she said.
  • In Greene County, several trees and power lines were reported down near Dayton Xenia and Trebein roads in the Xenia area.
  • In Miami County, a tornado may be responsible for barn debris, trees and wires in the street the 8000 block of Bellefontaine Road, according to the National Weather Service. The road is closed, according to the Miami County Sheriff’s Dispatch.
  • In Miami County, trees and power lines down in Bethel Twp. at Bellefontaine Road, between U.S. 40 and Palmer Road.
  • In Beavercreek, a tornado may be possible for several trees and power lines reported down near Dayton Xenia and Trebein roads, according to the National Weather Service.
  • In Beavercreek, a tornado may be responsible for several trees down along Dayton Yellow Springs Road near Fairborn. 
  • In Miami County, two homes with structural damage near highway 201 at Studebaker Road.
  • In Miami County, Deweese Road at Peterson, closed because of power lines and trees down.
  • In Montgomery County, trees were reported down in the 8300 block of National Road

It is believed that a tornado or multiple tornadoes were responsible for the damage in certain locations in these 

counties, weather service officials said.  

There may be additional locations that require damage surveys that aren't listed above, weather service officials said. 

“We will be in contact with emergency managers from the affected counties to determine a specific plan for damage surveys, as well as assess the need for additional surveys in other locations,” weather service officials said in the statement.


Several tornadoes are being reported in Greene County tonight.

Here are some of the reports (all of these reports have to be verified by the National Weather Service):

>>RELATED: Xenia graduation at Nutter Center disrupted

>>VIDEOS: Sirens, wall clouds in Greene

  • One has been reported in Fairborn, reported by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • One has been reported, by weather spotters to the National Weather Service, in southwest Miami County
  • Another in the area of U.S. 35 at the split with the U.S. 35 Business Route near Xenia
  • Near Jeffersonville and the Jackson Twp. line in eastern Greene County

Jason Slyger, of Sabina, said he saw a tornado touch down near Jeffersonville and the Jackson Twp. line about 8:30 p.m. 

"You see the storm, you see a V and all of a sudden you see debris in the air," he said. 

We are hearing no reports of damage of injuries. 

We have been fielding reports of funnel and other threatening clouds. 

We will continue to update this report as warranted. 

Turner bill would expand military sexual assault victims rights

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 5:45 AM
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 2:29 PM

U.S. Rep. Nikki Tsongas, D-Mass., (at podium) and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, at a press conference in Dayton in August 2016. BARRIE BARBER/STAFF
Barrie Barber

Two House lawmakers have introduced a bill to allow the military’s highest court to hear appeals from sexual assault survivors on decisions during trial proceedings, officials say.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Nikki Tsongas, D-Mass., have co-introduced the BE HEARD Act, which stands for Building an Environment for Helpful, Effective, and Accessible Representation and Decision-making. The two are co-chairpersons of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus.

RELATED: Military sexual assault protections may expand to civilian base workers

Under the legislation, Air Force lawyers who aid sexual assault survivors would be required to receive specialized training on how sexual assault impacts male victims. The bill also would let military judges appoint legal representatives for minors who have been sexually assaulted or those who are incapable of representing themselves prior to filing charges against an alleged perpetrator.

RELATED: Turner introduces bill to combat sexual assaults in the military

“Sexual assault in the military is unacceptable,” Turner said. “BE HEARD will require Special Victims Counsel to undergo specialized training to better understand how survivors cope with the trauma of military sexual assault. BE HEARD also explicitly reinforces survivors’ rights throughout the judicial process, expanding access to the military’s highest court and ensuring timely legal representation while also improving protections for individuals who cannot represent themselves.”

Turner and Tsongas have collaborated on other bills addressing the issue of military sexual assault in the ranks.

“The BE HEARD Act takes important steps to correct deficiencies in the military justice system,” Tsongas said in a statement.

Monroe, Middletown EMS honored for efforts with heart attack patients

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 5:43 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 2:27 PM

National EMS Week was established in 1974 by President Gerald Ford as a way to show appreciation for the women and men who respond when there is an emergency.

Two of Atrium Medical Center’s (AMC) partners - the Middletown and Monroe fire departments - have been honored for their ability to save the lives of potential heart attack victims which is critical to Butler County as the number of people suffering from this particular trauma in the country is staggering.

Middletown has received the AHA’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Award, while Monroe received a Lifeline EMS Bronze Award for their efforts to implement quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA) about 790,000 people in the US have heart attacks each year. Of those, about 114,000 will die.

The estimated annual incidence of heart attack in the US is 580,000 new attacks and 210,000 recurrent attacks. The Average age at the first heart attack is 65.3 years for males and 71.8 years for females.

Atrium’s Chest Pain Center Coordinator Kim Crout, said the awards bestowed on the local EMS teams recognize each for their efforts to work with the hospital to implement quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.

“Both entities work close with Atrium and we really work hand-in-hand to help patients,” she said.

She said Atrium was accredited in November as a full Chest Pain Center from the American College of Cardiology and that has helped train EMS responders on how to reduce time for treatment during the early stages of a heart attack.

Dr. Ralph Talkers, medical director for Atrium’s Emergency Trauma Center and for Middletown EMS, said that the hospital has educated paramedics about using technology to help save lives.

Talkers explained that response time to a heart attack is critical and that is why both Middletown and Monroe departments have ambulances outfitted with EKG equipment to transmit information about the heart’s electrical activity in route.

“We recently had in the hospital a man that came in with a massive heart attack. We knew it was a critical artery we could tell by just looking at the EKG,” Talkers said. “We fortunately got him to the catheterization lab very quickly and he survived. He was actually resuscitated in the field. Symptoms are very critical in saving lives.”

Those symptoms Talkers explained include: nausea, chest pressure heaviness, shortness of breath, arms and jaw aching.

“I think it is very important that patients have to realize that they should not minimize symptoms. I can tell you from personal experience I have had family members at a relatively young age who unfortunately succumbed from heart attack symptoms,” he said. “They didn’t realize that they were having pain that was related to a heart attach and were thinking that their nausea and vomiting was caused by a virus.”

Crout said women need to understand that they may have different symptoms.

“It is critical for women to realize that they don’t always have chest pain. They typically have more of the back pain or severe exhaustion or shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting,” Crout said. “Their symptoms are a little bit different. But we cannot wait on the symptoms – the general public needs to understand the signs of symptoms of a heart attack and call 911 immediately.”

She added that 85 percent of damage to the heart occurs within the first two hours of a heart attack.

“So if we can open up that vessel very quickly we can decrease their chance of death and maintain their quality of life,” Crout said.

Talker said that the collaboration with local EMS departments, staff and the various trauma and cardiology departments has been a “wonderful process,” that has improved the opportunity to save lives of people suffering from a heart attack.